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Left Unresolved – The Identity of the Spider-Man villain, F.A.C.A.D.E.

by  in Comic News Comment
Left Unresolved – The Identity of the Spider-Man villain, F.A.C.A.D.E.

In this new feature, I spotlight storylines that have been, well, left unresolved. Click here for an archive of all storylines featured so far.

We begin with the identity of the Spider-Man villain, F.A.C.A.D.E.!

The storyline ran from Web of Spider-Man #113-116. It was written by Terry Kavanagh (with script assists from Joey Cavalieri at one point) and drawn by Alex Saviuk and a whole load of different finishers over his breakdowns (Don Hudson is the only one who repeated, I believe).

Okay, so we open with a party that establishes all of the possible suspects…

Now we introduce the FACADE armor…

Lance Bannon proposes to his girlfriend. She accepts. He might as well have said that he was one day from retirement. So he gets a photo of whoever killed the scientist and stole the armor…

The next issue opens with establishing that all of our key suspects, John Jameson, Cole Cooper and Archer Bryce are all still in the building when Lance goes to find the shots he took from his camera before he was zapped. Uh oh, Lance, you’re in trouble!

That’s a key point of dialogue, that he called Lance “boy.” It seems unlikely that Cooper would call him “boy,” right? I think that pretty much narrows it down to Bryce and Jameson.

Betty Brant is interested in Bryce, but after he last husband turned out to be the Hobgoblin (he was not yet cleared at this point in time), she is wary. The next issue, she continues to dig into Bryce (who she oddly now calls ARTHUR Bryce)…

Spider-Man tracks FACADE down and shows up to fight him to save Betty.

This leads into one of the stupidest bits you’ll see in a 1994 comic book, and that’s saying a lot…

Not so much that Betty has a secret arsenal. That’s just logical with how much she’s been kidnapped and attacked. But she CHANGES INTO A “COOL” OUTFIT BEFORE ATTACKING! Complete with ridiculous headband! Oh MAN, that’s stupid.

Anyhow, at the funeral for Lance, all the suspects show up again, and J. Jonah Jameson agrees to collaborate on the case with the homicide detective Chase. So someone at the funeral must be FACADE, as FACADE shows up at the Bugle to take Jameson and Chase both out. Spidey luckily stops FACADE and destroys the armor, but in the process, knocks himself out…

In the end, we see FACADE bemoaning what happened to him…

But the Clone Saga picked up at the end of #116 and this mystery was never resolved (Kavanagh left the Spidey books a year later).

During the Dark Reign story, in a Dark Reign Files one-shot, there was a joke where private investigator Simon Stroud informs Director Norman Osborn that he has the identity of FACADE, but the sheet of paper is torn before it can be revealed…

A couple of years ago, Dan Slott had some fun with this story with FACADE appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #678, where Spidey is searching to see who caused an explosion predicted by a trip to the future.

The two real suspects are Bryce and Jameson. Bryce would be the easiest one for it to be, as he was a new character and certainly had motive (helping his company by stealing the new tech) but that last page…hmmm…it almost seems like Kavanagh is hinting that it is someone who is otherwise a nice person, like Jameson.

I guess we’ll never know (although I’m going to just presume it is Bryce).

If you have an unresolved storyline that you’d like to see me spotlight in this feature, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

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